ST. CLOUD - Governor Mark Dayton held an economic jobs summit in St. Cloud today (Tuesday).

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce President Theresa Bohnen reminded the Governor that state bonding money is still needed to help build a parking ramp in downtown St. Cloud.  The ramp would accommodate the additional vehicles coming to the expanded Civic Center.  Dayton gave her a thumbs-up on the request, and also responded "downtown development is absolutely vital" for the continued viability of greater Minnesota cities.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis asked the Governor to make a few phone calls to airline executives to help bring an air carrier to the St. Cloud Regional Airport.  The Governor said he would not only make the phone call, but he would also help by attending face-to-face meetings with airlines.  Later in the meeting, a member of the St. Cloud Regional Airport Commission revealed they're currently talking closely with United Airlines.  Microbiologics' Bob White added, "we don't want an airlink to the Twin Cities, we want regular regional air service" to Chicago and other cities.

Talon Innovations' Mark Eriksson says one of his company's biggest challenges is finding qualified workers.  Kathy Zavala from Stearns-Benton Employment and Training Council added that out of work people need to get updated technical skills, so they can re-enter the workforce.

One member of the audience who said he is from Ramsey County, said he's extremely frustrated that Ramsey County residents are not being heard on the half-cent sales tax issue regarding a new Vikings Stadium.  The Governor responded that the time has come to fully vet all of the options, put all of the cards on the table, and see how everything shakes out.  He says he's open to any and all options for both the county and the state to pay for their portion of a new stadium.

And, in a somewhat strange gesture by the Governor, he repeatedly gave out his home phone number and home address.  He told the audience they could call him anytime, or show-up at his house, and personally talk to him if they had more ideas for job creation.

Today's event was held at the St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

Here's a YouTube video from the Governor's news conference after today's economic summit in St. Cloud: